Leadership Qualities


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Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the editor in chief for TINYpulse news. She's dipped her toes into various works of writing — from retail copywriter to magazine editor. Her work's been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg BNA, and Tech.co.


Being a leader requires more than just barking directions and meddling in people’s work. Courage, inspiration, honesty — these are all great leadership qualities that every manager should strive for.

So if you need a little kick, here are 50 great quotes that will inspire you to become a first-class leader



1. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

2. “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William Arthur Ward

3. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

4. “Power isn’t control at all — power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.” – Beth Revis

5. “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter F. Drucker

6. “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John C. Maxwell

7. “There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust.” – Klaus Balkenhol

8. “You manage things; you lead people.” – Grace Murray Hopper

9. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

10. “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” – Warren Bennis


11. “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

12. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Reverend Theodore Hesburgh

13. “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”  – General George Patton

14. “Education is the mother of leadership.” – Wendell Willkie

15. “Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” – Tom Peters

16. “A cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men.” – Stephen King

17. “Earn your leadership every day.”  – Michael Jordan

18. “Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” – Orrin Woodward

19. “Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position.” – Brian Tracy

20. “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates


21. “The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.” – George Orwell

22. “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” – President Theodore Roosevelt

23. “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” – Walter Lippmann

24. “Make sure you’re not just waiting for someone else to fix things, or hoping that things will improve. Figure out what’s going on and make a plan to improve things.” – Kenneth Thomas

25. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

26. “If you think you are leading and turn around to see no one following, then you are just taking a walk.” – Benjamin Hooks

27. “You manage things; you lead people.” – Grace Hopper

28. “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan

29. “A man can only lead when others accept him as their leader, and he has only as much authority as his subjects give to him. All of the brilliant ideas in the world cannot save your kingdom if no one will listen to them.” – Brandon Sanderson

30. “A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” – Nelson Mandela


31. “Great leaders find ways to connect with their people and help them fulfill their potential.” – Steven Stowell

32. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

33. “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” – Albert Schweitzer

34. “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” – Henry Kissinger

35. “You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow too.” – Sam Rayburn

36. “The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.”- John Maxwell

37. “Dont find fault; find a remedy.” – Henry Ford

38. “Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.” – Paul Hawken

39. “Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” – Henry Ward Beecher

40. “Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” – Harold S. Geneen


41. “You have to lead people gently towards what they already know is right.” – Phil Crosby

42. “Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed.” – Mwai Kibaki

43. “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader

44. “Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

45. “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

45. “Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the Earth, you are a great leader.” – Indra Nooyi

46. “To me, leadership is about encouraging people. It’s about stimulating them. It’s about enabling them to achieve what they can achieve — and to do that with a purpose.” – Christine Lagarde

47. “Real leadership is leaders recognizing that they serve the people that they lead. – Pete Hoekstra

48. “Leadership is about vision and responsibility, not power.” – Seth Berkley

49. “I think leadership is more than being able to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. It’s about character and integrity and work ethic.” – Steve Largent

50. “Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting, and most importantly, a way of communicating.” – Simon Sinek

If you have a favorite quote that I missed, feel free to share it in the comment section below!

Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the editor in chief for TINYpulse news. She's dipped her toes into various works of writing — from retail copywriter to magazine editor. Her work's been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg BNA, and Tech.co.

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